5 Common Dog Diseases You Should Watch Out For

Friday, July 12, 2019 02:30:28 PM America/Los_Angeles

Dogs are man’s best and most faithful companions, and we are obligated to care for them as well as offer them all conditions necessary for a safe and healthy life. Although caring for your dog by providing him with a well-balanced diet and making sure he is well groomed could avert certain diseases, it is quite difficult to prevent all diseases. 

In this post, we discuss 5 of the most prevalent dog diseases, their symptoms, and how to treat them. 

1.    Canine Parvovirus

This is a highly contagious viral disease which is caused by the virus “parvo”. Although the disease could affect virtually any dog, puppies less than four months old and unvaccinated dogs are more susceptible to the viral infection.  
Canine parvovirus can be transmitted through either direct or indirect contact. Direct contact could happen if your dog licks or sniff a dog potty used by an infected dog. Indirect transmission happens when your dog comes into contact with a contaminated environment, object, or person. 

Signs and symptoms 

  •  Bloody diarrhea and vomiting
  •  Lethargy
  •  Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise


If you notice any of the above symptoms, visit your vet as soon as possible as the disease is potentially fatal. After a positive diagnosis, your vet is likely to recommend hospitalization in an isolated ward where a series of medications will be administered. 

2.    Ear Infections

This is perhaps the most common dog disease. Some of the causes of ear infections in dogs include bacteria, yeast, ear mites, allergies, and hair growth in the ear canal. 

Signs and symptoms 

  •  Vigorous ear rubbing or scratching 
  •  Head shaking
  •  Abnormal ear odor 
  •  Redness or swelling of the year
  • Vulnerability or crying when the ear is touched


Depending on the underlying issue, ear infections can heal quickly or become chronic.  The treatment depends on its nature, cause, and the infection’s severity. Treatment could include antibiotic drops, sprays, ointments, or ear creams, oral antibiotics, or surgery if the ear infection does not respond to other forms of treatments. 

3.    Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTI in dogs is caused by such factors as a poor diet, fungal and bacterial infections, immune deficiency, and bladder stones. 

Signs and symptoms 

  • Frequent housebreaking accidents
  •  Whimpering or straining when urinating
  •  Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Abnormal urine odor
  • Dribbling urine
  •  Obsessive licking of the genital area


If you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, take a urine sample to your vet for diagnosis. Once your vet establishes the cause, he will prescribe a dose of antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Unless advised otherwise by your vet, ensure that your dog finishes the prescribed dose to prevent a recurrence. Regulating your dog’s nutrition by lowering the amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium also helps. 


sick dog

4.    Worms

Intestinal worms in your dog could be life-threatening. Besides, some of these worms can be transmitted to humans. Most tapeworms require intermediate hosts such as rodents or fleas to be transmitted from one pet to another. Dogs can be infected with roundworms if they lick worm eggs from infected an infected dogs’ potty pads.

Signs and symptoms 

  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  •  Swollen abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Unexplained agitation
  • Poor coat appearance


By otsphoto via Shutterstock


Most intestinal parasites cannot be effectively treated with over-the-counter medication. After stool examination, your vet will recommend the most suitable treatment and safe treatment as different t worms are treated in different ways. Using a flea treatment regularly is one way of preventing worms in pets. Also, disinfect food and water bowls as well as its wee wee pad regularly. 

5.    Canine distemper 

Canine distemper is a viral infection which attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems in dogs. The disease can be spread through direct contact with an infected object, such as a toy or feeding dish, or animal. It is also airborne through sneezing or coughing. A dog can also pass the disease on to a puppy through the placenta


Immediately after infection, your pet will produce a pus-like discharge from the eyes. They will then develop symptoms such as nasal discharge, fever, coughing, loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. Once the virus affects the nervous system, the dog may develop symptoms such as muscle twitches, circling behavior, convulsions and seizures, and partial or complete paralysis. The virus sometimes causes your dog’s footpads to harden and thicken.


As this is a virus, it is not curable. Once the disease is diagnosed, the care will be purely supportive. For instance, the vet will treat such symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea, neurological symptoms, and prevent secondary infections. IV fluids can also be administered to prevent dehydration. Your pet may also be quarantined for at least two weeks to prevent it from infecting other pets. 

As your canine friend can contract diseases or infections from a shelter, from the groomer, or even the dog park, it is important that you keep a watchful eye and call a vet if your pup exhibits strange symptoms or behavior. One way you can make sure that you're able to keep an eye on your dog is by keeping them close when they're ill. This can be easily done by providing them with a real grass dog potty, DoggieLawn, so you can monitor they're bathroom breaks.